Have a Tech-Free Fall Break Day! 10 Ideas for Screen-Free Fun

With a little creativity and planning, you can get your tuned-in kids to turn off the devices.

By Jennifer Sheran, publisher Macaroni Kid McDonough, Stockbridge, Hampton, Locust Grove September 18, 2022

This Fall Break plan some time to step away from the phone. Power off the Kindle. Turn off the TV. Shut off YouTube.

There's no doubt about it — parenting in the technology age is tough, especially during a break from school. So much down time to fill. But with a little creativity and planning, you can find ways to get your tuned-in kids to turn off their devices.

Here are ten ideas for things to do with your kids that will distract them from their technology:

doram via canva

1. Surprise them with an "art box"

You don't have to buy anything new. Just use a tote to collect arts and crafts supplies from around your house — you can even get creative with things like (clean!) recyclables, fresh flowers, and forgotten or broken toys — and let them create a masterpiece straight from their imaginations.

However, if you are short on supplies Party-By-DesignStockbridge, GA offers paint kits of all kinds.

2. Plan a picnic 

Eating outside is a simple pleasure for kids, whether it's in your own backyard or at a favorite park. Let them plan the menu, put the food together, and choose the spot.

3. Plant a garden

They'll love to get dirty and you'll love teaching them about where their food comes from. Gardens don't have to take over your yard — just a small patch is enough to grow some great vegetables. Or you can even just plant a few carrot seeds or some plants in a pots. Include the kids every step of the way — from planting to cooking the harvest.

It is a good time for fall planting. You can either transplant established plants or grow from seed. At this time of year, you can transplant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Vegetables that can be planted as seeds include beets, bunching onions, carrots, collards, kale, lettuce, mustard, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.

4. Play games you loved as a child

Board games or cards, classics like Go Fish, Candy Land, and Monopoly have been family favorites for generations. Or get outside to play tag, jacks, or hopscotch. All your childhood favorites are sure to bring a smile to their faces — and yours. 

For more ideas, check out Five backyard games to play with your kids.

5. Make Macaroni Art

Raid your pantry for pasta and get out your art paints. You can spend one afternoon making Macaroni Beads by coloring dry pasta in all shapes and another afternoon creating necklaces and other art with the colored pasta "beads"

How to Paint Dry Macaroni

  • Place macaroni in large sealed Ziplock bags. 
  • Pour in craft acrylic or tempera paint and mix. 
  • Pour mixture on wax paper to dry. 
  • Repeat for other colors. 

Visit our Pinterest board for macaroni art inspiration.

6. Make a daily snack or treat

Make a daily snack together. Working in the kitchen develops independence and life skills while applying the learning they have done in the classroom. Cooking incorporates reading, math, and science and provides an immediate reward.

Since it is Celiac Awareness month, you might enjoy making these Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.

To celebrate fall, make these cute orange pumpkins.

Mix up a yummy pumpkin smoothie.

Shake it up, make ice cream in a bag.

7. Walk together

Fall break is a good time to start making a daily walk part of your family's habits, whether it's around the neighborhood or exploring a new trail nearby. You'll be surprised at the things you and your kids talk about while just out for a simple stroll. There are many local trails to get out and explore.

8. Create an obstacle course

You can find items around the house, such as a mini trampoline, an exercise step, hula hoops, pillows, and boxes, to make a fun obstacle course. Time each person going through. Switch the routes. Choose one person to be the announcer. You can really have fun with this and get exercise at the same time.

9. Set up a scavenger hunt

Setting up a scavenger hunt is easy to do: Just write out simple clues that lead from one to the next. A little prize at the end — a new book, a cookie, or a homemade coupon for an ice cream cone — will thrill them. Once they're done with your scavenger hunt, have your kids set one up for you to complete. They'll probably have more fun watching you try to figure out their clues than they did when they got to do it themselves!

10. Check your Macaroni KID events calendar! 

Our calendar is stuffed full of events to help you find your tech-free family fun this summer — and all year long! Make sure to check it out every day, and sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Here are ten things to do around Henry County for Fall Break.

We know that unplugging kids in today's tech world isn't easy, but giving them fun alternatives can help turn kids away from their screens — without a single technology tantrum!

Written by Carissa Garabedian is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Richmond, Va. and Jennifer Sheran, publisher of Macaroni Kid McDonough-Stockbridge